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Harry should have known better than to assume that the clean bill of health he got this evening was actually accurate. When has he ever been that lucky?

Although, staring up at his ceiling at fuck-o’clock in the morning, gasping for air, cock diamond-hard and—and wet, Jesus, if he didn’t know for sure he was alone in his house he’d swear there was a mouth on him right now...well, it’s not the worst surprise he’s ever gotten.

He’s barely awake, and his voice is still cracked with sleep when he cries out at a particularly strong suction paired with a clever tongue move.

What the fucking fuck, he thinks blearily, thrusting up into—into nothing, because there’s nothing, no one, in his bedroom, and air doesn’t provide friction, but…

Harry moans and curls his fingers into the sheets when suddenly the tight, unmistakable squeeze of someone’s throat presses around him, and all his questions are blanked out for the moment as orgasm rushes, too soon, over his sleep-wracked body.

He lies there panting for a while, squinting into the dark of his bedroom as his body cools off. When he can no longer stand the tacky-damp sensation of drying come on his stomach, he heaves up and stumbles into the bathroom, wiping himself off on autopilot while he waits for his brain to catch up with what just happened.

No side effects anticipated, Mr Potter,” he mocks at his reflection, curling his lip. “We’ve done a thorough scan and can confidently conclude that the spell either did not hit you, or was cast incorrectly. Of course, please report any ill effects to a Healer, but we do not believe we’ll need to revisit this incident again. Bloody bollocks, I should never have let them allow the bloody interns in the room.”

Tossing the used flannel aside, he stomps back into the bedroom and throws himself face-first into the bed. He considers ringing Mungo’s, but the hushed darkness outside indicates it’s still deep in the night, and he’d rather not deal with the overnight staff or the attention an emergency midnight visit would garner.

Anyway, as misfired spell side-effects go, this wasn’t the worst he’s experienced, he muses, rolling himself in his sheets and hoping he can get a few more hours in before his alarm goes off. Bloody mid-week raids; he’d be exhausted tomorrow even if it weren’t for this little…interruption.

He’ll talk to the DMLE Healer tomorrow; he thinks it’s Resnick on staff, and he’s always good about uncomfortable questions and situations requiring discretion.


When morning comes, though, Harry thinks that maybe it’s best to just...say nothing. After all, he’s been wound up for weeks over that case, no time for anything but work, barely even any breaks for eating and sleeping, let alone…other activities, so surely it was just leftover adrenaline of the raid and the relief of catching these fuckers and finally getting them locked away that triggered a hyper-realistic dream. Harry simply got caught between sleeping and waking and…finished...and had been too groggy to realise he hadn’t fully been awake during his…completion.

He winces at the euphemisms, even though they’re only in his head, and tries to focus back on his incident report. Even though everything had gone as smoothly as possible yesterday, an unintended civilian presence and a spell that either missed him entirely or didn’t do anything required a thorough report plus multiple additional forms, all in triplicate.

Sighing, he sets his quill down and rolls his shoulders back. “I’m off for some tea—want anything?” he directs to his partner, slouched low at the desk opposite his.

“Thanks, Haz,” Lisa sighs, dropping her own quill and shaking out her hand. “You’d think they’d give us a break on the deadlines for these, considering we bloody brought in an entire smuggling ring last night and half the team was in Spell Damage until the early hours, but god forbid Admin ever make an exception.” She shoots the paperwork stack a frown.

“Cheers,” Harry mutters, rapping at his desk before standing up and slouching off towards the break room.

He hadn’t been sure what to think when Lisa Turpin had been assigned his partner after his class graduated from Auror training—she’d kept to herself mostly, and he barely knew her even though they were in the same year at Hogwarts. They’ve proven to be well-matched, though. Lisa is serious and thoughtful, but steady, rarely frustrated or unhappy; a near-perfect counterbalance to Harry, who’s emotionally capricious, tends towards cynicism even on good days, and would never be accused of thinking things through before rushing into action. Harry had been disappointed that he wasn’t paired up with Ron, or even Dean, but after Ron’s breakdown and subsequent resignation from the corps and Dean’s inability to handle fieldwork and lateral move off to Forensics, he’s grateful that he’s had essentially no drama outside of the cases themselves since making Auror.

Well—no work drama, Harry amends, groaning internally when he spots today’s issue of the Prophet spread out on a table in the break room. Once again, Draco Malfoy’s smug face winks up at him, accompanied by another coy headline about his nighttime activities. This time, though, he’s made the front page instead of the human interest section—his accidental presence at last night’s raid, and what he’d been doing in that dingy alley when Harry had burst through the wall of one of the neighbouring buildings in hot pursuit of escaping members of the syndicate, will be enough to titillate the Wizarding public for days, if not weeks.

Harry recalls his momentary distraction from the target when he’d caught sight of Malfoy, robes half down his back and hair spiked with sweat, holding some anonymous bar tart up against the wall as he fucked into him. Malfoy’s head had been tucked into his partner’s neck, but at the explosion of rubble across the alley he’d snapped his neck around and caught Harry’s gaze.

Harry had been just a few feet away, frozen momentarily at the tableau, taking in the bead of sweat rolling down Malfoy’s neck, the tension in his arms as he held his partner up, the other man’s hands clenching into Malfoy’s shoulders in—ecstasy? Fear? Harry wasn’t sure the bloke had even noticed the hubbub yet. It was only a second, but it was long enough for Harry’s target to get a spell off that blew through the air, hitting both him and Malfoy with deep scarlet aftershocks.

Harry had jumped in front of Malfoy and his…companion, shouting at them to Get the fuck DOWN, Malfoy, cast a shield! as he fired back wildly, squinting down the alley in an effort to pinpoint the fugitive’s location. He got a shield up just in time to counter the crack of a Confringo, and then it was just the back-and-forth of spells until Harry’s partner was able to circle around, apprehend the criminal, and verify that the others had been picked up by the rest of the Aurors scattered throughout Horizont Alley.

By the time Harry had been able to turn his attention back to Malfoy, he’d managed to do up his robes and perform some sort of tidying spell on himself (Harry would love dearly to know what exactly the incantation was), and was leaning against the alley wall, inspecting his nails with an air of boredom. His partner was nowhere to be seen.

Thrilling work, Auror Potter,” Malfoy had drawled, and Harry’d had to take in a deep breath and push away the image of the veins in Malfoy’s forearms in order to take his statement and determine that neither of them were feeling any effects from the scarlet spell, whatever it had been.

After Malfoy had been dismissed, with a caution against public lewdness that Harry couldn’t be bothered to actually follow up on and a notice that he may be called in to give a witness statement, Harry had submitted to the emergency field Healer’s examination, who had been the one to declare him side effect-free, gone home, and fallen straight to sleep before even putting together a late dinner, adrenaline burnt out and desperate for a full night’s sleep.

Shaking his head, Harry flips the front page of the Prophet face-down on the table, scowling down at Malfoy’s cheeky wave as he disappears from view, and turns to the kettle. He has no reason to be this cross, he thinks as he prepares two mugs of tea; after all, he did end up with a full night’s sleep, even if it was interrupted midway through.

Not the worst interruption, he thinks as he charms the mugs to float behind him out of the room and back to his desk. Too bad I can’t remember the dream.

Lisa accepts her mug gratefully, and they’re silent for the rest of the morning as they toil through the paperwork. That afternoon, they’re called down to Interrogation to start interviewing their captures from last night, and when they’re done, Harry waves off an invitation to the pub in favour of ringing up Ron and Hermione for takeaway and telly at his.

All in all, it’s been an incredibly ordinary day, so Harry really should have realised that something would happen overnight.

He’s woken at god-only-knows what time yet again, cock dripping precome and twitching in the tight warm squeeze of— Christ, Harry thinks to himself, whimpering thrashing his head to the side, this is someone’s arse, what the fuck is going on, what…

He remembers from the previous night that moving doesn’t do much, but he takes himself in hand and, oh, the dual sensation is enough to pitch him over the edge almost immediately.

Harry shuffles into the bathroom and cleans himself off, overwhelmed with déjà vu when he looks at himself in the mirror. He narrows his eyes at his reflection, checking for inconsistencies.

Pinching himself in the side only generates a yelp he’s immensely grateful nobody is there to hear, and verifies that he is, in fact, awake.

Which means last night’s incident probably wasn’t a dream either.

Fuck.

Sighing, Harry trudges back to his bed and falls back onto the mattress.

Well, he thinks morosely, it could be worse...I guess this is better than when Voldemort was randomly showing up in my dreams…

Snickering, Harry rolls onto his side and amuses himself by considering what the erotic misadventures of Tom Riddle may have involved. If it was anything like what this bloke’s getting on a regular basis, I may have reconsidered cutting that connection off, he muses, sinking back into the sense-memory as he gets comfortable in his sheets.

He’s almost drifted back off to sleep when his eyes pop open again. This bloke. Intense sensory experiences that aren’t his own, starting the night he’s in proximity to some unknown spell with no other side effects. Draco Malfoy fucking someone in an alley.

Oh, fuck.


Harry does not feel rested the next day, despite his cracker orgasm in the middle of the night. He slouches around the bullpen and snaps at his colleagues (not Lisa, though, never at Lisa) and drinks so much tea he’s shaky and miserable by the time he clocks out and heads home.

He’s anxious when he gets ready for bed that night, but he sleeps all the way through and wakes up refreshed and...disappointed? No, certainly not disappointed, he’s just...he’d worked himself up to expect another midnight wakeup call, and when it didn’t happen he felt a bit flat, that’s all.

Apparently Malfoy doesn’t go out on assignations on Wednesday nights. Harry can’t believe he’s spending this much time considering Draco Malfoy’s sex life.

Alright, that’s not entirely true. But it’s not like Harry wants to! The papers run columns and interest pieces and bloody pictures every single time Malfoy so much as sets foot in a pub these days, so it’s hardly Harry’s fault that he has to read about him every single time he picks up a copy, Hermione, he’s trying to be an informed citizen by reading the Prophet from front to back.

The fact that he goes straight to the gossip pages every morning is neither here nor there.

Just—the thing is, Malfoy seems to be enjoying himself, in a way Harry...isn’t. Work swallows up so much of his life, and when he does get a bit of free time, he feels obligated to go visit Ron and Hermione, or stop in at the Burrow and let Molly feed him. And it’s not that he doesn’t enjoy spending time with his family and best friends, because he does, it’s just...Harry would like to also, maybe, use some of his time off for himself sometimes.

Not that he wants to get off with a new person every other day, Merlin. Malfoy’s perhaps swung a bit too far the other direction for Harry’s taste.

Anyway, Harry’s in a much better mood on Thursday. He got uninterrupted sleep, there were no disturbing articles with too-flirty photographs in this morning’s Prophet, and Robards has sent the last few cases away from Harry and Lisa, giving them a reprieve after their massive raid earlier in the week. Normally, Harry hates little jobs, but he has to admit that, once the paperwork from their last case is finished, it’s a bit nice to be able to spend a while easily wrapping up minor issues. On Friday they even get called to back up Patrol for the entire afternoon, which means they can hang back and let others do all the work and nip into a café for pastries in between patrol stops.

Harry thinks about mentioning the two incidents to someone, maybe Hermione if he can’t bear the thought of explaining it to the DMLE Healer on Duty—surely she deals with enough oddities down in Mysteries that she wouldn’t blink an eye at this—but something holds him back.

Maybe it was a fluke, he argues with himself on his way home, clutching the bottle of wine close to his chest as he weaves through the foot traffic on White Lion towards Grimmauld Place. After all, what kind of spell does that? It probably won’t happen again.

He’d intended to go to bed early that night, maybe get up early Saturday and head to the gym, but he finds himself dallying in his cosy study by the banked fire, working his way through the bottle of Syrah and eyeing the clock as it gets later and later.

It’s just, well—it’s Friday, isn’t it? If it’s going to happen again, surely it’ll be tonight.

Not that Harry wants it to. Just. If it’s going to, he’d rather know, right away instead of being woken up at the tail end, so that when he goes to Hermione to tell her what’s been happening he’ll be able to lay out all the facts for her and answer all her questions.

Right. Yes. That’s all.

As the hands on the clock tick over to eleven, Harry considers packing it in—maybe Malfoy’s striking out tonight (as unlikely as that seems), and he’s keeping himself awake for no reason. He’s just draining the last of his wine and thinking idly about putting the fire out when phantom fingers trail down his spine, making him gasp and jerk upright, dropping the glass onto the thankfully carpeted floor.

“Shit,” he whispers, drawing his shoulders up to his ears as the fingers trace along his back and shoulder blades. Now that this is happening while he’s fully awake (although maybe not fully sober, but that’s fine), it’s obvious how not-real this all feels—the sensation is softer than it would be if this were actually happening to him, light enough to almost be ticklish, but what would normally have him twisting away in discomfort instead has him sighing and slouching down on the couch, closing his eyes as the touches sweep down his sides and plant themselves at his waistband.

Harry runs his hand down his own torso and slowly unbuttons his trousers, closing his eyes and sinking into the feeling of someone else’s hands on him. It’s not real—he knows it’s not real—but it’s been so long since he’s had this, and it’s easy to pretend, and who’s he hurting anyway?

Shoving his jeans and pants down his legs and kicking them off when they reach his ankles, Harry spreads his knees and runs his own fingers up his inner thighs. The stranger’s hands are gripping his—Malfoy’s—waist more tightly now, and the fingers are stroking over the top of his arse.

Harry sighs and traces one finger down his shaft, the other sneaking down to fondle his balls, tugging them just enough to make himself hiss and squirm, just on the right side of too much. The hands are creeping down now, sliding over his arse, and Harry bites his lip, picturing Malfoy—he’s probably at a club right now, dancing close with a stranger, a tall stranger if the size of those hands is anything to go by, pressing their bodies together, getting more daring in the crowd as the heat sweeps over him, letting this person touch him like that in public.

He’d been well on his way, but that thought gets Harry all the way hard in a heartbeat, and he smears a blurt of precome over the head, pressing his pinky finger into the slit and moaning. The sound is loud in his study, but he’s soon sufficiently distracted by the clutching grip on him—if this were real he’d have bruises tomorrow—and relaxes back into the fantasy.

His study is warm, but the club would be even hotter. Harry would be in the middle of the crowd, and he’d actually feel comfortable dancing in public, or maybe he just wouldn’t care, the crush of bodies rendering him anonymous for once. People would dance next to him, with him, and he’d turn away from them all until just the right person slid up against his front, broad palms and long fingers roaming his torso like they had some sort of ownership over him. Harry would tilt his head back and—god, like that—he’d feel lips on his neck, soft at first, then harder, sucking. Marking.

Harry sucks in a breath and thinks that if he touched his neck right now it would be wet with these phantom attentions, it feels so real, but he’s afraid to shatter the illusion. He conjures some lube and finally takes himself in hand, stroking up and down, up and down, keeping time with the clench of fingers against his arse, whimpering a bit when one hand sneaks closer and in, and a finger is pressing against his hole. Is Malfoy still on the dance floor?

Harry wouldn’t be, by now. He’d— Fuck, the finger is wet now, and pushing shallowly in and out, enough to tease and light up his nerve endings, not enough to bring him any relief. Harry’s hand speeds up. He’d have tugged his partner into a shadowy corner, maybe, or outside, or all the way back to his bedroom, and—

Harry sucks in a breath and curls his toes, free hand digging into his own thigh, as finally the phantom finger presses all the way in and crooks, landing just off his prostate. He shifts a bit, frantic for contact, and Malfoy—god this is so fucked up—Malfoy must be doing the same, because suddenly it’s there, and Harry’s so worked up that it sends heat spiralling up his spine immediately. He almost bites through his lip and tightens his grip at the base of his cock, not wanting to finish too soon.

Harry would be in his bedroom, kissing his partner fiercely, writhing against him, urging the finger in deeper. He’d— Ok, the finger’s pulled out and the hands are changing positions, the person must be behind Malfoy now, holy shit— He’d let his head drop, arching his back and pushing his arse into his partner, and those clever fingers would be pulling his button fly apart, pushing into his pants, and they’d—fuck—press right behind his balls, stimulating his prostate from the outside, and Harry would feel so empty with that finger gone.

Does feel so empty.

The hands are brushing his—Malfoy’s—waist now, and when one sneaks between them down to his arse, Harry gasps and jerks up into his own hand when two fingers push in insistently. The man must have pulled Malfoy’s pants down from behind, and Harry’s sure they’re still in the middle of the crowd at whatever bar.

In the privacy of his own bedroom, of course, Harry wouldn’t mind—he likes a bit of rough treatment, sometimes, the sting of too-much-too-soon, and he’d push back onto those fingers with a whine. He’d snake one arm back around his partner’s neck and pull his face down close, urging him to reapply his mouth to Harry’s neck. And finally it would be too much for the man, and he’d—

Harry moans, long and loud and no longer caring how it cuts through the silence of his study, when the fingers are replaced by a cock, thick and blunt and agonisingly steady as it pushes into him—into Malfoy—and he speeds his hand up further, adding a twist at the base and a squeeze at the head. It won’t be long now; it’s been so long since he’s had this. Harry likes getting fucked, but the thing is, the rare times he’s gone out in the past, anyone he’s pulled has wanted to be lain down and worked over by the Saviour, so he hasn’t had a good seeing-to in...he doesn’t even know how long.

Clearly that’s not a problem for Malfoy, who’s getting fucked on the dance floor right now, holy fuck, and on that unfairly hot image Harry comes all over himself, just a minute or so before whoever’s fucking Malfoy clearly does, too.

Harry slowly comes back to himself, panting on the couch in his study with the fire burnt out and his trousers flung onto the hearth, dangerously close to the grate. The air is too close suddenly, and he slams all the windows open with a wave of his hand.

He’s...angry. At Malfoy, at the criminal who shot this fucking curse at them, at himself for indulging in whatever the fuck this is instead of immediately going to the Healers, to Hermione, to someone.

Tomorrow, Harry thinks, dragging himself up to bed, hoping against hope that he can sleep without interruption now that Malfoy’s had some fun. I’ll tell Hermione tomorrow.


He doesn’t.

He’s not sure why, but he just...doesn’t. Maybe it’s morbid curiosity—he can finally confirm exactly how many times per week Malfoy’s getting laid. Maybe it’s fear of the scolding he’d get if Hermione knew how long he waited before saying anything.

And maybe...well. Harry doesn’t have time to go out and meet people, you see, so maybe he can sort of...scratch an itch, for however long it takes for this spell to wear off. Malfoy clearly enjoys a varied and plentiful sex life, and it’s not like this is affecting him in any way, or Harry has no doubt he’d be camped out in the Auror department demanding freedom from Harry’s prosaic daily bumps and bruises; so really, if he lives vicariously for a little while, what’s the harm? The smuggler had been running for his life, he certainly wouldn’t have been concentrating to really make his magic stick, so really, how long could this spell last, anyway?


Almost a fortnight later, and Harry’s starting to feel a little guilty about the whole thing.

Just a little bit, though. He’s more relaxed than he’s been in ages; Lisa’s teasing him non-stop about the spring in his step and its possible sources (and can she ever turn a joke filthy; Harry’s very impressed), and even Robards has noticed, casting approving glances his way at his positive attitude.

He’s been uncharacteristically buoyant the whole time, except for last Saturday. He’d waited up the night before, tumbler of Firewhisky half-empty on the side table, jeans already halfway down his thighs, watching the clock like a hawk, half-hard from sheer anticipation.

Things had started out the same way the last few times had gone—phantom hands getting increasingly bolder, touches ranging to more intimate parts of his body, Harry working himself over slowly with his eyes closed, imagining himself in Malfoy’s place, steadfastly refusing to assign any features or…hair colour to the mystery man he’s conjured up as his fantasy partner.

This time, though, Harry just couldn’t get into the rhythm. The hands had been too hesitant when they needed to press forward, took too many liberties when they weren’t yet welcomed. The mouth had been too hard, the teeth too soft, and the cock too small. Harry had struggled through, but the wank and subsequent climax had been utterly unsatisfying compared to what he’d been getting used to, and he’d gone to bed annoyed and woken up grumpy.

He’d done his best to not take it out on Ron when they met for breakfast, blaming it on a lack of exercise and too much desk-work over the last week. Ron had accepted his explanation and set to work improving his humour, and to his credit he’d gotten Harry laughing in short order—but what really cheered him up was the sight of Draco Malfoy, in the flesh, storming past their outdoor table at the café, colour and temper clearly up.

“Wonder what’s gotten up his arse today,” Ron had said, craning over his shoulder to watch as Malfoy shoved his way down Diagon, snapping at anyone who got in his way for too long.

Nothing worth writing home about, Harry’d thought, privately cheered that it wasn’t just him who’d had a bad night last night—it wasn’t the spell wearing off, it was just a bad fuck.

He probably should be more concerned that that’s his biggest worry.

Harry and Lisa had remained on light duties the whole of the week after the raid, but when they came in this past Monday they’d been handed a new case—a string of murders this time, all of them staged to look like suicides at first inspection. They’ve been knee-deep in investigation and research all week, taking lunch and dinner in their assigned conference room that’s slowly filling with chalkboards covered in theories and floating photographs of suspects and victims, new additions crammed in whenever a consultant comes in to lend further information.

They’re confident they’ve pinpointed where the victims are meeting the killer(s)—Lisa had identified an apothecary in Luton that each person had patronised in the weeks leading up to their deaths, so they’ve arranged a stakeout for this evening, simply to observe the shop’s end-of-day business and monitor any unusual activity after they shut for the night. The apothecary’s posted hours have them closing at eight o’clock on Thursday nights, so Harry runs out at half four to get a takeaway from the Thai place Lisa likes and meets her in the alleyway across from the shop forty-five minutes later.

They settle in for a long, boring night—Harry’s got a book on early Quidditch World Cup scandals he hasn’t had time to start yet (what with his…other activities in his off-hours recently), and Lisa’s scribbling away in a puzzle book already when he gets there. They note the evening customers that enter and exit the store, Harry narrating out peoples’ descriptions to their Quick-Quotes Quill (an adapted, Auror-approved version, and thankfully muted navy in colour) while Lisa spells magnifiers at the various parcels and packages that come out of the store and makes note of their contents.

Nothing unusual happens for the first four hours, so really, Harry should have expected what happens at around nine-thirty.

The shop has been closed for an hour and a half, but the lights are still on. At first, Harry and Lisa had thought nothing of it, as obviously the proprietor would need time to tidy and reconcile the register, but as time wore on and nobody left, they put aside their distractions and sat quietly, wands at the ready and eyes fixed on the front door.

Finally, the lights flicker off, and a heavily-bundled woman exits the storefront, pausing to lock the door. Harry watches carefully, and he feels Lisa still and tense at his shoulder.

The woman turns and fumbles for something in her cloak for a moment, still half-facing away from their vantage point, and Harry picks up the faint sound of clinking coins. He relaxes slightly, assuming she’s securing her earnings for the day—and that’s when she whirls on the spot, jabs her wand directly at where they’re supposed to be concealed by several Auror-grade Disillusionment charms, and shoots off a rapid-fire series of knife-bright spells directly towards them.

“Watch out!” Harry shouts, shoving Lisa out of the way of a spell that would have caught her right across the throat. He hisses in pain as his momentary distraction allows for something to slice over his right thigh, and he throws a Stunner and an Incarcerous wildly into the night as Lisa sends a numbing spell and Stasis towards his leg, to keep the lost blood close to his wound until he can get to a Healer.

It’s a relatively quick duel, as these things go—though the woman had gotten the drop on them, she’s no match for two Aurors, and Lisa and Harry get her subdued and transported back to the Ministry in short order.

It’s closing in on eleven at night, and Harry’s sitting out in the bullpen, teeth clenched as the emergency Healer from Mungo’s casts diagnostics over his leg where he’s ripped open his trousers directly over the cut, when a commotion at the entrance to the department draws his attention.

Harry’s jaw drops when he sees Draco Malfoy shoving his way through the crowd of Aurors trying to stop him.

“No!” Malfoy shouts, shoving one over-eager junior (who had perhaps been getting a little too handsy over Malfoy’s—dear god—sheer black top) into the person directly behind them. “The lot of you can fuck off. I demand to speak with whoever’s in charge of this godforsaken place at this godforsaken time of night! One of you is responsible for—”

He catches Harry’s gaze across the room, glances down at his leg sticking out, blood now congealing over the slice as the Healer attempts to siphon it back into Harry’s body while gaping at Malfoy’s tight, tight jeans, and his eyes narrow dangerously.

“Potter,” he snarls, marching Harry’s direction. The Healer squeaks and scuttles off, and Harry sighs. This is why he hates the overnight staff at Mungo’s—no moral fibre.

“How can the Auror department assist you this evening, Mr Malfoy?” he asks blandly, shooting a disinfecting spell at his leg and doing his best not to wince.

Malfoy jabs his finger towards Harry’s leg. “What in the fuck, Potter, I thought you were supposed to be good at this?” His voice is strident and screeching, and Harry frowns.

“What do you care, Malfoy?” Harry asks, doing his best to direct the blood back into his cut. It’s sloppy as hell and stings, and he curses the Healer for skedaddling at the first sign of conflict.

Fuck, Potter, that hurts, can you please stop??” Malfoy’s tone is pleading, and Harry snaps his eyes up. Malfoy is clutching—at his thigh, the same exact spot Harry’s cut is on his own leg.

Oh, shit.

“Er…” Harry starts slowly, recasting a numbing charm and causing them both to sigh in relief. “Malfoy...I have some bad news for you, I think.”

“I KNEW IT,” Malfoy howls, swirling his wand to send a chair rocketing their direction. A few more swishes and it’s a plush, comfortable-looking confection, and Harry eyes it in envy as Malfoy flops down with a dramatic sigh. “I knew this was somehow your fault, Potter. What have you done to me?”

“It wasn’t me!” Harry protests, mind whirling. “Why the hell would I curse you to get hurt when I get hurt? Look, I don’t rightly know what’s happening, but I think...I have an idea, and I think we need Hermione.”

“Oh, excellent news, this night keeps getting better and better,” Malfoy moans, prodding gingerly at his thigh. Harry most definitely does not look at the flex of his muscles under the tight black denim. “Fine, Potter. Call up your pet Unspeakable. Let’s get this horror show over with—my night’s ruined anyway.”

“How did you—that’s supposed to be a secret,” Harry hisses, glancing around. Luckily, nobody’s too close. “How the hell do you know Hermione’s with Mysteries?”

Malfoy blinks innocently. “Well, I didn’t, Potter—thanks for confirming my suspicion, though.” He smirks, and Harry wants to kiss it right off his face. Fuck.

He hobbles over to his desk, leaving Malfoy sprawled decadently across his chair, and drafts an emergency memo—even if Hermione isn’t in the Ministry (and she very may well be, he never knows her working hours), it’ll track her down and natter in her ear until she deals with its contents.

Harry glances at his wristwatch—it’s 11:15. He winces and hopes Hermione’s still at work.


Hermione was not still at work.

She glares at them from across Robards’ desk. She’d shown up fifteen minutes after Harry sent the memo off, wrapped in a fuzzy dressing gown and still half-asleep, and immediately commandeered Robards’ office. Everyone had stopped to stare when she showed up, but a single sharp look sent them all scattering, deliberately looking away from the scene when she started hissing invective in Harry’s ear while dragging him towards the office. Malfoy had, rather unexpectedly, followed after them with no protest, his modified chair bobbing along behind them.

Harry stares at its cushions longingly, now—the guest chairs in Robards’ office are even more uncomfortable than the one he’d been sitting in out in the bullpen, and his thigh is getting really sore despite the numbing charm. Malfoy notices his attention, rolls his eyes, and snaps a spell his way. Harry jumps—until he realises Malfoy’s added cushioning all along the back and seat, and managed to fit in a footrest where Harry can prop his leg.

“If you’re quite finished,” Hermione says icily, and Harry looks guiltily back to her. Even Malfoy shrinks in on himself a bit. “I believe you were telling me that Malfoy is somehow having…sympathetic injuries when you get hurt? Would either of you care to elaborate?”

Malfoy sits up straight. “Listen, Granger, I’ll have you know that I had absolutely nothing to do with this. I was getting drinks with some friends—” Harry snorts at that, he can’t help himself; Malfoy puts his nose in the air and ignores the interruption, “—and suddenly it felt like my leg had been sliced open—a feeling I think you’ll recall I’m somewhat familiar with, Potter—and when I went to the gents’ there was some sort of hideous phantom wound gushing ghost blood onto my leg. I came here immediately, of course, assuming some sort of psychological hex, but then I saw Potter with—what do you know?—an injury in the exact same location. I don’t know anything beyond that; I haven’t even seen an Auror in months!” He crosses his arms and sits back huffily.

Harry stares at him. “Malfoy—er. We…two weeks ago, you were in that alley, and I came through the wall...there was a duel? I took your statement?”

Malfoy flaps his hand. “Oh, that barely counts, it was just you, and you’re clearly no good at your job. I meant a real Auror.”

Harry looks helplessly at Hermione, and is horrified to see her biting back a smile. “We were hit by a spell, do you remember that?” he snaps.

“Wait—a spell? When was this? What spell?” Hermione looks serious again, leaning forward over the desk.

“Well...I don’t really know,” Harry says awkwardly, pointedly ignoring Malfoy’s loud, derisive sniff. “It...had aftershock waves, almost? They were scarlet...but I got checked out afterwards. The Healer said there was no evidence of spell damage or side effects at all!” he adds hastily, not liking the look on Hermione’s face. “It’s all in my report!”

Hermione sighs and slumps back into her chair, rubbing a hand over her face. It’s quiet for a minute, and Harry takes the pause to try and finish healing his leg.

He’s barely pointed his wand at himself before Malfoy tuts impatiently and knocks his hand away, aiming his own wand down at Harry’s injury. “Merlin, Potter, you’re going to make it worse, let me,” he mutters, and whirls a Vulnera Sanentur over Harry’s thigh before cancelling the numbing charm and finishing off with a cleaning spell.

Harry stares down at the neat red line where the slice had been. “...thanks,” he mumbles, darting a glance out of the corner of his eye towards Malfoy, who looks pink and awkward now.

“Right,” Hermione says loudly, drawing their eyes back. “So. I’m afraid I don’t have a clear answer for you. My first instinct is that you were hit with Speculum Affectu, but clearly somehow the caster managed to modify it, which should be almost impossible. Malfoy, have you noticed an unusual amount of bruises recently that you can’t pinpoint the origin of?”

Malfoy smirks, and Harry’s ears feel hot. “Oh, only every other day or so, Granger. I’m afraid you’ll have to be a bit more specific.”

Hermione sighs. “Well—things like, a bruise on your leg when you know you didn’t run into anything recently. Harry tripped over our coffee table last weekend when he was over. Anything like that?”

Malfoy frowns thoughtfully. “Yes, actually. I just assumed I’d bashed my shin on something in the middle of—other things, and didn’t notice at the time. But I had a bruise just below my knee when I woke up on Monday.” He stares accusingly at Harry. “Potter, how are you so bloody clumsy?”

Harry opens his mouth to retort, but Hermione cuts him off. “So, that fits with my suspicion. Any sudden or intense feelings on one will be felt by the other, almost like a phantom touch—discernible from reality, but only just. However, it makes no sense that only you’d be experiencing this, Malfoy—this spell is old, and the odds of some random smuggling suspect being able to modify it to only affect one person are astronomical! And furthermore, why make the changes? What was the point of casting a spell that only affected the bystander, when Harry was right there? It’s almost like—”

“Er,” Harry says, cutting Hermione off. Malfoy looks rather winded, and shoots Harry a grateful look. Wincing, Harry looks straight at Hermione—he does not want to see Malfoy’s face in a minute. “I think...well, that is to say…”


“Well!” Malfoy says briskly, jabbing at the lift button. “That was quite the bollocking Granger gave you, Potter. Bit embarrassing for you having me there, I’d imagine.”

Harry’s slumped against the wall next to the lift, covering his face with both hands. “Bloody miserable, that was,” he mutters. “She was so angry.” Reluctantly, he moves his hands down when Malfoy starts tugging at them.

“Honestly, it was a bit of an overreaction, I think,” Malfoy says, leaning next to Harry and nudging his shoulder. “After all, it wasn’t her sexual escapades you’ve been spying on for the last two weeks.” His voice is sly.

Harry groans. “Merlin. I am sorry, Malfoy, truly—I don’t know how to properly apologise for what a prat I was about this. I know I completely violated your privacy, and—”

Malfoy steps in front of him and puts his hand on Harry’s bicep, effectively shutting him up. “Potter, do shut up. What’s done is done, and…” His eyes roam over Harry’s torso, and Harry’s breath catches as Malfoy’s pupils expand. “Frankly, knowing that you were at home wanking whenever some bloke was fucking me, or I was getting sucked off in the loo...” —and oh fuck is hearing those words in Malfoy’s posh, clipped voice a turn-on, Harry can feel himself start to get hard—“...it’s bloody hot. I can’t...I wish I could remember feeling your hands on yourself, like you got to feel everything happening to me.”

“Fuck,” Harry whispers softly. They stand frozen for a minute, until the lift dings and self-importantly announces its arrival and they spring apart before entering. Harry hits the button for the Atrium and stares at his hands.

The ride up is silent. Harry can feel Malfoy’s gaze hot on his neck—he wonders if any of the bite marks from Malfoy’s hookup two days prior, who’d had viciously sharp teeth and a fascination with Malfoy’s tendons, are still visible or if they’ve faded.

They reach the main level and exit the lift. Harry strides for the Floo bank, not daring to look to his side and see if Malfoy’s kept up with him.

He reaches the near Floo, but before he can grab any powder, Malfoy grabs his elbow and whirls him so they’re facing each other. “Listen, Potter. I imagine that your life is going to go back to whatever depressingly dull routine that led you to letting this spell linger on in the first place. If at any point you’re interested in changing that—maybe try out in person some of the stuff you witnessed...well. I’ll add you to my Floo wards.” He presses a card into Harry’s palm, winks, and neatly cuts in front of him, throwing powder into the flames and whispering out an address before he steps in and whirls out of sight.

Harry gapes after him, then glances down at the card. Potter, it says, don’t think I didn’t get a glimpse at what you’re hiding in your pants. My address is 12 Montpelier Square—drinks at mine tomorrow? Come by anytime— D

Harry crumples the card and closes his eyes, breathing out hard through his nose. Fuck. Maybe a wank tonight without any extra stimulation won’t be too terribly bleak after all.

And even if it is...Harry suspects tomorrow night is going to be much more interesting.